By Christine Leonard
CALGARY — After 30 years of channelling energies from both sides of this mortal coil, it’s not easy to surprise psychic medium John Edward. That’s probably why the only caveat on an interview with the eight-time New York Times bestselling author is that he won’t respond to impromptu reading requests. So, it’s only fair to assume that Edward anticipated he would be asked a question originally posed by comedic sage George Carlin. A reformed Irish Catholic and self-professed “Frisbeetarian,” Carlin claimed to believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and stays there. In his famous bit “Dead Parents in Heaven” (It’s Bad For You, 2008), Carlin uses mathematical logic to challenge the theory that deceased act as guardian angels to exponential generations of their progeny. How does Edward respond to the concept of the afterlife as some being some “heavenly branch of the make-a-wish foundation” instead of a rewarding respite from cosmic chaos? Or, as Carlin put it: “When do you get to lay back on a cloud and take a fuckin’ harp lesson?”
“I don’t know when you get to retire, but I do know that we are connected by love,” Edward explains. “The other side is the original social network. Where there is a soul-bond is where we are connected. I don’t think there is a time limit. Whether it’s a song lyric, a line in a movie, a movement of classical music or post on FB [Facebook] it’s just a tool. These innovations just provide more opportunities for our loved ones and friends on the other side to communicate and as we evolve they’ll evolve with us.”
Keeping pace with changing technologies and social attitudes is definitely a concern for Edward, who reportedly has a two-year waiting list for personal psychic readings. As the host of the television programs Crossing Over with John Edward and John Edward: Cross Country, Edward is no stranger to performing in front of large audiences. He is currently on an international tour including several Canadian dates that will see him conducting audience readings and answering questions for $150 a ticket, or $225 for those who seek a one-year membership with his Evolve club.
“Here’s what I tell people all the time, faith is free – but religion you pay for. Religion is a business, but your faith is free. So, that’s the value,” Edward says. “That’s the way I look at things, specifically when it comes to the South Park episode.”
For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure, the 15th episode of the sixth season of the Comedy Central animated series South Park, “The Biggest Douche in the Universe,” focuses on main character Stan’s quest to debunk John Edward’s psychic abilities. Originally broadcast in November of 2002, the cartoon send-up still resonates in the Edward household like Kenny’s ghost.
“In last three and four years it really kicked in when I had to have certain conversations with my kids that I don’t think a lot of parents have to have. For example, don’t Google daddy’s name. Most parents would be worried about porn on the Internet, but for me if they Google my name there’s some great and amazing things that will be available to find and watch, but there’s also some really nasty things that people say and post that are not so nice. Stuff that you wouldn’t want to read about someone you don’t know let alone your father. I have to say, I have an entire episode of South Park dedicated to me where I’m the ‘douchebag of the universe!’ I mean, that is an honour! When it came up I warned my son ahead of time ‘You’re going to be ‘the son of the douchebag of the universe.’ Like ‘douchey junior,’ so get used to that. That part of it is just not cool, but it’s part of the reality, so I deal with it. But, for every kid that I block for tweeting me, ‘Hey, are you still…?’, there’s another 30 or 40 of them who just discovered who John Edward is. And thanks to the show, South Park, which won’t be going away anytime soon, I will continue to develop new young teenage following who may have lost a parent, sibling, or grandparent and they are going to discover who I am thanks to a negative intention.”
John Edward’s Q&A and audience readings take place at the Telus Convention Centre Sept. 20.AB, Alberta, John Edward, psychic, psychic readings, Telus Convention Centre